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Wednesday 15 May 2019

How did Jesus go about doing evangelism? (Part 1)

John 4:4-15

Now he (Jesus) had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Will you give me a drink?’ (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?’ (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.’

‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?’

Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’

The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.

Posture of the heart

We are told that Jews do not associate with Samaritans. Jews looked down on them because they were descended from Jews who had intermarried with non-Jews and they had developed different ways of worshipping God. Jesus was different from other Jews. He travelled through an area that most Jews would have avoided. Far from rejecting Samaritans, he looked for an opportunity to meet them.

Are there any groups of people that we would rather not meet? Let’s pray that we have the attitude of Jesus, free from discrimination and willing to meet all kinds of people, whatever their background.

Place of engagement

Jesus went to a well. This was a common place to meet people. Everyone had to get water.

What are the common meeting places where we are likely to meet people who do not yet know Jesus?

Point of conversation

Jesus did not start the conversation on spiritual matters. He started where the woman was and talked about water. Only as the conversation progressed did he move on to spiritual things.

Jesus also started from a point of vulnerability. He asked for a drink. He did not start by boasting about everything he could do for the Samaritan woman.

How do we start conversations with people we meet? Do we look for common ground? Do we have the humility to ask people for help? Or do we sometimes, without realising it, come across as having a ‘know-it-all’ attitude?

Let’s follow the example of Jesus in our conversations today.

Thomas Halley, Sawyers Church Leadership Team

Sawyers Church
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